By Savannah Malnar
Peyton Manning has a reputation of being the sort of guy you would want to spend as much time with as possible. He’s known for his good heart and great arm as a quarterback. But on Thursday, he got a little angry at something that other quarterbacks may not be as worried about.
Manning and the Denver Broncos were up 14 points over Philip Rivers the San Diego Chargers as they were nearing the 2 minute mark in the 4th quarter. As expected, the fans were excited. The scoreboard operator did what people in his position usually are supposed to do: he got them more excited. And Manning didn’t like it.
The scoreboard operator was switching between showing opposing quarterback Rivers on San Diego’s sideline and Manning on offense, invoking a taunt/cheer reaction from the crowd in Denver. The problem? This was going on while Manning was trying to call plays and finish out the game.
Manning was obviously frustrated, making hand signals and attempting to quiet the crowd time (there’s even a video of him shouting an expletive at the crowd circling social media and professional media sites). But after the game, Manning insisted he wasn’t upset at the fans; it was the scoreboard operator he was frustrated with.
The fact that there was so much noise while he was trying to call out plays irked Manning, but he also had a problem with the scoreboard operator showing Rivers. “I don’t think we should be showing their quarterback on the sideline. I thought that was kind of disrespectful,” Manning said during the post-game press conference.
Interestingly enough, an article featured in local newspaper and sport media outlet The Denver Post agreed what the scoreboard operator did was wrong, but that Manning could have been more sensitive about the matter. All major sport media sites were fair and objective in relaying what Manning said; Mike Klis, author of the article in The Denver Post, was more subjective.
He called attention to Manning being a perfectionist and that being a good thing. Again, he believed Manning was in the right, but said, “He just should have been less serious. This would have been a time for Manning’s folksy humor that plays so well to a national audience.”
Is it fair to ask Peyton Manning, debatably the best quarterback in the NFL, to relax about something that may seem trivial? Or has he earned the right to be picky about his playing conditions?